Many factors have to be considered in developing new intense sweeteners to replace sugars in the diet for the benefit of dental health. These include their general properties, safety and toxicological evaluation, metabolic fate in the body, regulatory status and dental research documentation. The choice of new sweeteners with improved properties is expanding, with particular attention being paid to multiple sweetening, materials of natural origin and calorie control, as well as dental health gains, the distinction between non-cariogenic and anti-cariogenic properties, securing regulatory approval and developing an attractive range of foods and drinks containing the new materials.
This review provides a summary of advances of early ‘90s in relation to low calorie sweeteners and their benefits to dental health.A number of studies has been conducted since then providing more evidence to the beneficial role of low calorie sweeteners in oral health. Taking into account all available published evidence, in 2011 EFSA has concluded in its scientific opinion that there is sufficient scientific information to support the claims that intense sweeteners, as all sugar replacers, maintain tooth mineralisation by decreasing tooth demineralisation if consumed instead of sugars.
Based on this scientific opinion by EFSA, the European Commission authorised the health claim that the consumption of foods containing low calorie sweeteners instead of sugar contributes to the maintenance of tooth mineralisation in 2012 (Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012, 16 May 2012).